A flare has been burning on Curtis Island as part of shut down work at Santos GLNG.
A flare has been burning on Curtis Island as part of shut down work at Santos GLNG.

Santos fined $13k for causing ‘enviornmental nuisance’

SANTOS has been fined more than $13,000 for causing environmental nuisance by having black smoke billow from its GLNG flare at Curtis Island in August.

The Department of Environment and Science issued the gas giant with a Penalty Infringement Notice of $13,345 following the incident between August 24-26.

Gladstone Conservation Council made a complaint about the flaring, after it collected more than 30 photos and videos of the black smoke and bright flare.

Co-ordinator Anna Hitchcock said while she was uncertain if the fine fitted the crime, it was a "small win".

"The community rightly expects (Santos) will keep the flaring and black smoke to a minimum," Ms Hitchcock said.

"This was four days of continuous flaring and we expect better."

A GLNG spokesperson said the increased flaring occurred after the plant finished its largest maintenance shutdown since it became operational in 2015.

They said the facility was safely started up and there was no impact to air quality.

"While GLNG's environmental authority permits some additional flaring during shutdown, start-up and maintenance events, the Department of Environment and Science concluded the smoke caused an environmental nuisance," they said.

They said GLNG would continue to work to minimise any visible smoke during future shutdowns.

A department spokesperson said Santos's EA states it must not cause environmental nuisance in the community.

The department is working with Santos to address the issue.

Ms Hitchcock thanked residents who contributed photos and videos which were used as evidence.